A few days ago I went hunting with a friend. Not the killing kind of hunting, simply the shooting kind. Wait, that doesn’t work either. Photography, that’s what it was all about! My friend told me there was a fox around somewhere. A vixen, to be more precise.
Now, it is already difficult enough to spot a fox close by, let alone a vixen at this time of year. Well, this particular vixen had a good reason not to stray too far from the spot. She had a few cubs there too.
So, full of anticipation we drove to the spot (and no, I am still not going to say where that was). We spotted her from far far away, hardly close enough to try and photograph her. Even worse, she didn’t make any move to get closer to us.
Lazing in the sun
We stayed in the car with our big cameras, just to camouflage ourselves a bit. If there were two big guys with black “sticks” coming to her, she would have run away faster than the time to say “fox”. And rightly so. Foxes have been hunted for far too many centuries for them to forget who we are and what we are capable of.
Lazing in the sun
She decided to lie down on the grass, far enough away to be able to run, in case something came out of that metallic box. However, the spot was not far away from a road that has a little bit of diverse traffic.
Watching the passers-by
When there were some runners running by, the vixen decided that it was time to move a bit from her lazy spot. Click! Click! Click! (not more, I do not spray and pray). She decided that the runners were not a threat to herself or her little ones. With her being on the lookout, there was little chance that the cubs would be out and playing in the field as well. So no shots of the cubs.
Then, suddenly, she came running towards us, apparently for no reason at all. Except that the reason was behind our backs on the other side of the road. There was a man with a medium-sized dog walking by. Swiftly she came closer to what appeared to be the entrance to the den with the cubs.
Let’s wait this one out
By the time she arrived very close to our parked car, the man with his dog were already 50 meters further away and no longer a threat for the vixen or her cubs. She decided to wait it out, perhaps the dog would come by again and the den would need to be defended.
Yawning of excitement
The man and his dog did not return on the same road. A few runners and a few cars, yes. But these didn’t worry the vixen at all. She was so “excited” that she was yawning. The fierce pose is nothing more than a well executed yawn .
Up close and personal
She decided to have a better look at those black things sticking out of that metallic box, but she came no closer. With my 600mm I was close enough to see her back teeth up close. I had to zoom out quite a bit.
On her way out
After a few more minutes, she decided that it was time to go and wake up the little ones. She got up and disappeared over the ridge towards the den. The den is on private property with no use in asking for access. The answer was a striking “no”, Judging by the sign of No Trespassing riddled with bullet holes...
After this spectacular photo session with Mrs. Fox, I returned a few times to the same place. But no sign of either vixen or cubs. Let’s hope they are doing well.
Until next time…